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Monday's news in under 2 minutes.

RU486
RU486

1. One of Julia Gillard’s final acts during her time as Prime Minister was signing off on cabinet approval to add the ‘abortion drug’ RU486 to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. This will decrease the cost of the drug from approximately $800 to as little as $12 for people with concession cards and $70 for others.

Speaking yesterday, Health Minister Tanya Plibersek said, “It means women who previously would need to travel to a capital city may be able to have a termination closer to home … This is about giving women more options at a very difficult time.”

2. Nigella Lawson and husband Charles Saatchi’s ‘dispute’ – an incident of domestic violence captured by paparazzi when Saatchi was seen grabbing Lawson by the neck during a fight at a restaurant – was reportedly over a legal issue with two of the family’s former personal assistants. Francesca Grillo, 34, and Lisa Grillo, 32, allegedly misappropriated money from the family and spent it on luxury goods. However, Lawson had considered the former assistants confidantes and was upset that Saatchi wanted to sue them.

3. The latest Galaxy Poll reveals Kevin Rudd is the preferred Prime Minister over Opposition Leader Tony Abbott. Fifty one per cent of respondents said they would prefer Kevin Rudd to run the country, as opposed to Tony Abbott’s 34 per cent. But on a two-party preferred basis, the Coalition continues to lead the Labor Party 51 per cent to 49 per cent.

Kevin Rudd
Rudd
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4. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced his new cabinet this morning. Rudd loyalists during the internal contest with Julia Gillard, have been richly rewarded. Rudd has also elevated three new women to the Cabinet, making it the largest representation of women in a Federal Cabinet ever.

Key promotions have included Mark Butler to the critical Climate Change portfolio, Anthony Albanese takes on Communications in addition to his other responsibilities and Tony Burke to the troublesome Immigration portfolio.

5. The parents of Reeva Steenkamp – Barry and June Steenkamp – have given their first interview about Oscar Pistorious to The Daily Mail. The couple has had to defend their decision to sue Pistorious – an act that has inspired widespread condemnation in South Africa.

June Steenkamp said, “Our hearts just feel broken. But we have no choice but to sue. Pistorius has placed us in this position … We are struggling financially. Reeva was helping us. On the night she died, when she was on her way to Oscar’s house, we talked about her sending us money to pay our cable television bill.”

Barry Steenkamp continued, “I know not everyone understands why we are doing this … It makes me feel awkward, a bit guilty and terrible when people say these awful things. It’s shocking and hurts us so much as a family.”

6. On the first anniversary of Mohamed Morsi‘s inauguration, hundreds of thousands of Egyptians have gathered in the streets of Cairo calling for the President to leave. It’s been reported that four people are dead and at least 200 people have been wounded, although these reports are currently unconfirmed. Protesters allege Morsi has broken his promises and failed to uphold democratic principles.

Kiesha Whippeart
Kiesha Whippeart

7. The grandmother of Kiesha Weippeart – Liz Weippeart – has spoken to Fairfax press to condemn the Department of Community Services for returning the now deceased Kiesha to her mother Kristi Abrahams. Ms Weippeart said that she had previously cared for Kiesha after her mother bit her so badly she had to be hospitalised. However the young girl was removed from her care when DOCS returned Kiesha to her mother.

8. An Australian man living in the US has been jailed for 40 years because he “purchased” a young boy with the intention of sexual abusing him. The 42-year-old man allegedly adopted the boy using false records and used him to make child pornography. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges involving child exploitation. In a statement, U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker said: “What can be said? What can be done to erase some of the horror of this?”

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